The Aviator Experience

The Aviator Experience, Tauranga: Hours, Address, The Aviator Experience Reviews: 5/5

The Aviator Experience
5
Character Experiences • Game & Entertainment Centres
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Military Grade VR Flight Simulators. This is no game, it's as real as it gets. Try out your best Top Gun moves to take down your friends while flying WWII Warbirds or Modern Jets. Get a groups of friends together, bring along your business or come along for a private session. Spectators are welcome to watch the action on the big screens. Conveniently located at Tauranga Airport, our stunning hangar overlooks the runway offering an up close view of the real aviation action. Drop in to see us if you'd like to find out more.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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5.0
137 reviews
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peterchristian888
Tauranga, New Zealand2 contributions
Aug 2021
The simulator evening at the Aviator for our 19 managers was by far the best experience we’ve tried. The amazing authentic flying of Spitfires, trying to take out colleagues out over England in 1939, and the mind-blowing reality of the F18 fighter jet, will be hard to beat.
Additionally the event environment (looking across the airstrip with an array of aircraft buzzing around and the state of the art Fire Rescue vehicle paying a visit), and the professional event set up, topped off all components of a first class team event or a mates/ or family get together. Craig and his other aviators, who are there to guide you as you scan the British (or French) countryside for prey to blow out of the sky, are a highly experienced and easy to follow.
We’re planning more events there and have a few individuals heading back on their own….it’s very good value!
Peter
NZWIndows Group
Written 13 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jon
2 contributions
Jul 2021
Our company went to The Aviator Experience as a part of a day of team building and socialising. What we experienced was simply world class entertainment. From being welcomed in and being shown around the amazing venue, the warm hospitality and of course the flight simulators themselves and the battles in the air that followed, we were all blown away and had a fantastic time. Being in an aircraft hanger at the airport with planes and helicopters landing and taking off made it even better again. A massive thank you to Craig, Anita and the team for looking after us, your passion and excitement to see us having fun and the product you have produced is a winning combination. We will be back and will be telling everyone about it!
Written 29 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David
2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
What a memorable afternoon we had ,I took my 77 year old Dad he loved flying in the simulator ,great place for the family to watch and share the experience ,I also had a go in the spitfire simulator what a thrill !!! we all will be back .Craig the instructor was brilliant ,he looked after my Dad so well and made it such a wonderful experience for us all . Great customer service thank you Craig
Written 25 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ross E
16 contributions
Apr 2021 • Business
We had a tailored corporate event at the Aviator Experience. Very well catered for with excellent facilities. Everyone was raving about it and much fun was had by all, even the ones that had a fear of flying! Highly recommend this as an individual experience or an event.
Written 19 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Glen H
4 contributions
Jul 2021
I brought my father a Spitfire VR experiance. He loved it. We couldnt speak highly enough of Chris and the team. It was a really well presented, fun and informative session. Its as close as most people will ever get to being in and flying a real Spitfire. Dad left feeling like he had really experianced what it was like to fly one, huge grin
A must do for anyone, two thumbs up
Written 11 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brendan
3 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
I got to fly the F18 and Spitfire Simulator

The customer service was second to none

This fulfilled a life long dream and i was treated like royalty

Will definitely be going back in the future and have been recommending this experience to all
Written 4 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

FML11222
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand5 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
Wowza, this is such an amazing experience, just like flying the real thing. Great for spectators also, we were even offered a cheeky little Pinot noir. Get yourself down there it’s so much fun and value for money
Written 20 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Graham Rous
Auckland Central, New Zealand2 contributions
May 2021
What a fantastic experience. The setup, including real aircraft cockpits is incredible, and Craig was very generous with his time and expertise which made it even more memorable.
You really feel like you are flying a Spitfire, or a near-supersonic F-18 at 200 ft!
Highly recommended!
Written 31 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Freedom673470
3 contributions
Apr 2021 • Friends
Just like to say a huge thanks to Craig, we had a fantastic time on the F18 motion cockpit. Craig’s expert tutoring helped us enjoy this experience to the maximum and we were able to master low level flying, air to air combat and also have a go at landing on a aircraft carrier, just awesome. Then to top it off a flight in a Spitfire as the characters Wolfman and Goose (Top Gun movie). The scenario was to take down some German fighters or bombers. It was a great experience all round and will definitely be coming back again soon.
Written 23 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Uhuru6948
Wellington, New Zealand193 contributions
May 2021
On my bucket list was a flight in a genuine WW2 Spitfire, which is indeed available in both NZ and the U.K., but I could not justify the expense to my wife!
Fortunately, and fortuitously, whilst searching online for a Spitfire Flight Experience, I stumbled across The Aviator Experience based at Tauranga, which fair city I just happened to be visiting in a few days' time. BTW, other warbird experiences, and even modern fighter jets, are also available.

Initially, I made contact with Craig, the genius behind this activity, and wasted no time in booking a 90-minute session. After a minimal amount of paperwork, and a detailed intro from Craig, it remained for me to don the virtual reality headset having eased myself and strapped into the rather tight replica Spitfire cockpit.
Then, and, under Craig's instructions and guidance, to "fly" trying to remember everything I had just been taught!

For beginners, it is best to commence your experience in the air, whilst you get used to the handling and "feel" (literally!) of the aircraft. Landings, takeoffs, aerobatics, dogfights, formation flying, recovering from a spin, and crash-landings after the engine "dies" are just some of the exciting treats in store!

Even for someone who has modest experience flying radio-control model planes this "hands-on" flying was absolutely amazing, incredible and extremely realistic.
After multiple crashes, all due to "pilot-error", including landing in flames, Craig jokingly reckoned I had caused some $3 million in damages to my reusable aeroplane, and I reckon had I been a cat I would have used up all of my 9 lives!

Towards the end of my session, I was indeed getting the hang of things, and would dearly love to return to Tauranga in order to sharpen up my act.

Craig obviously has not only immense knowledge and experience but considerable patience with not only his wayward pilots but the short time needed to "reset" the computer in order to continue. He can also arrange to "freeze" the action should the pilot need to take a break.

Well, I think I've run out of superlatives!
My rating for the entire experience 11/10 (that's not a misprint!)
All kudos to you Craig and your team of behind the scenes colleagues. I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear for the entire day, having started at 0900 hours.
Finally, do bring your family, friends etc. into the hanger where they can take a seat and watch everything on the screen, even if they claim not to be interested in participating.
Oh, I almost forgot: It's fantastic value for money, and I recommend you take the longest flight option available.
Written 20 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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